Be a person of integrity, as someone whose word is their bond, and as someone who will do the right thing, even in the face of adversity.
There is nothing more important in your technology career. Integrity is one of the 12 behaviors and actions to learn and apply from Success in the Technology Field that will help you to advance or prepare for a career in technology. The twelve recommendations involve adopting crucial behaviors that apply throughout your career, as well as specific actions you should take at different stages of your career.
Why Integrity? One might think that lying, hypocrisy, and the failure to keep promises are becoming normalized in our society. The US is a nation divided, with more coarseness, less civility, and less honesty in our politics than we have ever seen in our lifetimes. Many Americans, though they may silently disapprove of such conduct, still seem to accept outright lying by many politicians.
Yet, within the technology field, there are critical areas of knowledge, skills, and behaviors that, if pursued and adopted, provide a significantly improved chance of career advancement, irrespective of how you define career success. With respect to integrity, you will have little or no lasting success in the technology field if you are not a person of integrity, who keeps her word, who stands up for her values, and who does the right thing, even in the face of adversity.
Be a Person of Integrity
Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest, having strong moral principles, and being morally upright. The essence of success in the technology field is tightly linked with talent, hard work, and persistence. Undoubtedly, if you are dishonest, that automatically calls into question your morality. But having strong moral principles is more complex and nuanced when it comes to someone’s behavior. Here is where hard decisions arise in your technology career—decisions that set your reputation as to whether you are a person of integrity.
There is a culture in the technology field, a culture born of the hard sciences. It is one of exactness and representation of the facts as they exist, not as we might like them to be. As such, there is a significant value placed on presenting the facts correctly, whether those facts are positive or negative. In other words, there is a culture that values, and even demands, honesty. There are just no short-cuts to developing and delivering technology-based solutions and services. It is ingrained in many of us in the field, and we take affront with those not living up to the standard.
Be Truthful in All of Your Dealings
Regarding honesty, the recommendation to you is simple. When it comes to your professional career, be truthful in all of your dealings. Be willing to take the heat—tell the truth even when it is difficult to do so. And be a person of your word, fulfilling your promises. Sure, it is difficult at that moment, but the price you will pay is much less than what it will cost you when you lie, and that lie is then exposed. If a situation arises and you cannot keep a promise, immediately let the other person know and explain why; and if need be, make amends. Maintain your good reputation, and take care when making a promise, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
Business is about human relationships, and there is always complexity. Humans have moral compasses, and most often, we know what the right path is. However, many times it can be challenging to choose that path. In dealing with people in tense and emotional situations, make sure you get the facts. If dealing with possible improper employee behavior, leverage your human resources department to help you discover the facts.
You will set yourself apart from most people if you are a person of integrity. Too many people, when faced with having choices regarding which path to take, will take the easy path. But that often is not the right path, the path of integrity.
Success in the Technology Field: A Guide for Advancing Your Career
Success in the Technology Field is a practical “how-to” guide for a career in technology. It presents a holistic model, incorporating skills and behaviors that help you define and attain your career goals, whether you aspire to be an executive, a leading technologist, or a successful product salesperson.